Carson goals evolve with term
Some successes are joint efforts
Just more than a year ago, Student Body President Eve Carson won the election and the chance to make her platform points a reality.
“I came into the year, and I said, ‘I’m going to work really hard and work smart, and I’m going to get everything done my way,’” Carson said. “You learn pretty quickly that everything is not going to get done your way.”
A couple of months into her term, Carson said she felt “bummed.”
“I had to re-evaluate and say, ‘How are we going to get this done?’” she said. “In so much of our goals, the most important thing for us to do was . to bring other people into the project.”
By coordinating with other individuals and groups on campus Carson was able to accomplish some of the platform points that encountered roadblocks.
And though some of her ideas won’t materialize during her term – despite months of research – most of the biggest initiatives will be in motion before she leaves office April 1.
The spring music festival, one of Carson’s platform points, merged with SpringFest, a campuswide celebration that will bring music group Boyz II Men to campus at the end of April.
“We could have done this on our own in student government, but I think SpringFest is an example of so many people coming together,” Carson said.
The celebration is a joint effort of the Carolina Union Activities Board, Residence Hall Association, senior marshals, Carolina Athletic Association, Campus Y and student government.
Student government and CUAB focused on the musical aspect of SpringFest and helped out with publicity and fundraising, said Hilary Marshall, SpringFest’s event coordinator.
Another Carson administration goal, a big-name speaker series, sought to bring prominent speakers to campus and was picked up by the Division of Student Affairs.
This year’s chosen speaker was finalized last week, but Carson wouldn’t reveal the speaker’s name, only that the theme is philanthropy.
“We’ve always had an interest in having a speaker series for the campus,” said Margaret Jablonski, vice chancellor for student affairs. “We’d also like to help do some fundraising to support this activity for the longer term.”
And although the platform originally called for a $2 million endowment to fund the series, that hasn’t been created. Instead, the first speaker probably will be funded with a combination of money from the Division of Student Affairs and student fees, with a possible endowment later, Jablonski said.
While collaboration was key for some projects, some of Carson’s other successes will be all her ideas.
The Carson administration created a scholarship intended to reward a junior who has excelled during the first two years at UNC. The first scholarship will be awarded for 2008-09, Carson said, adding that an official call for applications will come in the next couple of weeks.
But some platform points, such as the addition of a Yogurt Pump in the Student Union, haven’t had the same success.
Although “YoPo in the Union” flashed across many of Carson’s campaign A-frames, YoPo is a no-go this year, as Union renovations have still not been decided.
Don Luse, Carolina Union director, said that he and Carson discussed her plan before she took office but that the renovations are still at least three years away.
Since the Yogurt Pump addition wasn’t immediately possible, Carson encouraged students to give their opinions in forums hosted by the Student Union.
“We’re providing feedback at the meetings and also sort of following up on that feedback to push and make sure something happens,” said Christie Cunningham, senior adviser for the Carson administration.
Although some students applaud Carson’s method of reaching out to others to get things done, there is concern that too many people involved makes for an ineffective system.
“She’s reaching out to people, and that’s a good thing in terms of getting people involved, but I know that in leadership experience that can lead to inefficiencies,” said Gia Branciforte, a senior who voted for Carson last year.
Now, with about a month left in her term, Carson said that her decision to integrate other groups proved successful and that she is pleased with the progress her administration has made this year.
“My platform, coming into this, was not a check-off sort of platform,” Carson said. “It was a very building, big ideas-oriented platform, so I knew that it was going to be important for me to think long-term. . We’re trying to do things which make the University a better place in the long run.”
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Evaluating the Carson administration
Today: Carson’s platform
Third and final installment